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Archive for the 'Screech owls' Category

Screech owl family – the ‘Owlbamas’ – nesting in Walnut Creek backyard

Fledgling “brancher” screech owl chicks. Photo by Marilyn Trabert, Walnut Creek, CA.
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Gary:
We have had Western Screech Owls nesting in our backyard for seven years now, and every year is exciting.  The past three years we’ve had four owlets fledge successfully. Before that it was three each year, except for the second year when they abandoned two eggs.  We live in a townhouse in the Rudgear area, so our yard is pretty small.  Yet the nest box is only about 15 feet from the house in a redwood tree.
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Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012
Under: Screech owls | 1 Comment »

Squirrel escapes high winds hiding in screech owl nest box

Fox squirrel hiding from high winds in screech owl nest box. Photo by Steve Musso, Walnut Creek, CA
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Gary:
We had a little screech owl that lived in our wisteria a couple of years ago. He flew off when the leaves began to fall, so we put up an owl box, hoping he would return. Alas, no owl has ever lived in it. But this week, our resident squirrel (a teenager, I think, from the nest in the big tree nearby) took refuge from the high winds.

Once the winds died down, he moved back out. So he won’t be “evicted” by an owl! Yeah, by evicted, I mean eaten!
Nan Musso, Walnut Creek, California

Nan:
Hey, any port in a storm when a squirrel needs to get out of high winds!

When building nest boxes for owls, each owl species requires different dimensions for its box. The boxes also have to be places at certain heights off the ground for different species. Also, some (like screech owls!) need to be under trees because that’s where they like to fly, etc. Here’s a link to information on the correct dimensions for a screech owl nest: box http://gargravarr.cc.utexas.edu/owl/construction.html   There’s also lots of information on how and where the box should be located. This should help you have a better chance of attracting some screech owls to your box! Good luck! /Gary

Posted on Monday, November 7th, 2011
Under: Nest boxes, Screech owls | No Comments »

Screech owls: Local backyard is home for two special friends

Screech owl adult (l.) and chick (r.) perched outside attic nest. Photo by Lori Katzburg, Walnut Creek, CA.
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Gary:
I feel so grateful for having a wonderful treat to marvel at each day:  A mama and papa screech owl have been living in my attic/house vent for over 8 years now.  Each spring they bring new baby “owlies” to my backyard.

The mama and papa are comfortable with my quiet presence. Their wings have brushed my shoulders on several occasions. The feeling is absolutely awesome.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
Under: Owls, Screech owls | 3 Comments »

Screech owls are spunky, tough little guys. Isn’t this cute?

Screech owl nest box (Craig Jensen/ Walnut Creek, CA)
screech, craig jensen, wc

Gary:
During the 5 years I have had my owl boxes up, they have continuously been occupied by screech owls except for a 3 month span in one of the boxes when a tree squirrel took residence. The squirrel was eventually chased out by an owl.

These creatures are a constant source of delight and have helped to reduce my gopher population. Enjoy!
Craig Jensen, Walnut Creek, CA

Craig:
The 6-inch tall screech owls are one of my favorite birds of prey … tiny but very spunky! /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Under: Owls, Screech owls | 1 Comment »

Are these little screech owls cute, or what? Nest boxes really work!

Screech owl nest box. Photo by Carol Meyer, Galaxy Press, Concord, Calif.
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On Jan. 8, S. Sprague of Concord wrote my column, wanting to know if any of my readers have had success using screech owl nest boxes?

Yesterday, I received this note:
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Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Under: Nest boxes, Screech owls | 3 Comments »